Everyone has tricks that work on their kids during those long drives. And we are no exception. Here are a few things that keep us sane:
1) In car DVD player. We don’t have a vehicle with a built in, which is actually a good thing as Caelan is currently in a rear facing seat. We purchased a two-screen model so each girl can have her own screen. Pack a few movies and you’re on your way. A portable DVD player is also great for hotel rooms that don’t have good children’s cable selections. Just make sure you get one that can plug into the wall, too.
2) Leave at nap or bed time. Nothing ensures quiet as much as a sleeping kid.
3) Pack spill-proof drinks and snacks that are small and easy to eat.
4) If the drive is long plan to stop every 3 hours- at least- for potty breaks and leg stretching. Plan ahead and find parks or interesting attractions. The AAA TripTik comes in handy for that. It will show you gas stations, detours, attractions; everything you need to make your trip as easy as possible.
5) If you know an overnight stay will be involved plan ahead. Nothing will fray your nerves more than driving around to find a hotel when you have fussy kids in the car.
6) I try to buy a few cheap, new and car-friendly toys and books. To add to the fun, wrap them like a gift and give them out every 50, 75, 100 miles.
7) Travel games. No matter how much stuff you have, if you are on a long drive you will eventually have to play some sort of game. Brenna loves to count “Macks” (semis). Or we say the colors. We point out animals, cars, buildings. As kids get older the “I Spy” game or the “license plate game” are fun options. For lots of options visit Mom’s Minivan. Some of her ideas are not suitable for all kids but she is creative!
8 ) The most important advice I can give on driving is: Plan Ahead. Plan for the trip to be longer than it should be. Plan for potty breaks. Plan for hunger. Plan for everything that could go wrong.
Plan, plan, plan. And everything will be a breeze.